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L-W-O Community

For those living with Primary, Secondary & Paediatric Lymphoedema Online & in the Community

Why drink Water?

You will see regularly throughout this website about the need to drink water. 

It is important for those of us who live with lymphoedema to drink more water

Don't be tempted to think the opposite

Lymph fluid is high in protein

To remove protein from your tissues you need water

Drink water means "protein-traffic" moves better around the lymph system


UK Government advice

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Lower fat milks
  • Low sugar or sugar free

Coffee and high caffeine drinks can exacerbate your Lymphoedema by increasing the swelling.  With coffee, try switching  to decaf.


Benefits of drinking water


  • De-Stress - if you are stressed all your problems seem worse.  Drinking water provides more energy, eases tension.
  • Helps your body work more efficiently 
  • <span font-family:open=">De-Stress - if you are stressed all your problems seem worse.  Drinking water provides more energy, eases tension.
  • Helps digestion and muscle function.
  • Keeps you looking young
  • Acts as a natural moisturiser 
  • Prevents skin drying out this is important because all of us who have lymphoedema have to look after our skin.
  • Boosts mood and Brain Power - even somebody who is mildly dehydrated can experience anger, confusion and depression.
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Cushions your joints.

Signs of dehydration

One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty.  There are signs to look for when you might become dehydrated.

  • dark urine or not passing enough urine when you go to the loo
  • headaches
  • lack of energy
  • feeling lightheaded

Those of us that have lymphoedema should drink lots of water, you might be tempted to think the opposite.  Drinking more water is important because lymph fluid has high protein content.  To remove the protein from your tissues, it needs water.  Drinking water means that "protein-traffic" moves better around the lymph system.

Hungry or Thirsty?

  • have a drink of water
  • wait 15 minutes
  • if you are still hungry then eat

To Juice or not to Juice

Many of L-W-O members love to juice, often starting off their day with fresh fruit or vegetables for breakfast, quick fast healthy breakfast you might think.

Only juice the fruit or vegetables you would normally eat and please do not use this for diet alone.  With juicing you often remove the skin and therefore remove the fibre. When juicing fibre breaks down and is separated from the juice and left in any slush in the bottom of the juicer.   Juicing raises blood sugar levels.  Some vegetables can cause a hormone imbalance with someone who has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  Make sure you wash your fruit and vegetables as there may be either pesticide or bacteria lurking.

I couldn't find a decent article or research on juicing, you either love it or hate it.  For me personally the hassle of washing the juicer out every time I found a chore, now I simply would rather eat the fruit and veg whole.  

At the end of the day this is your personal choice.

Add a twist

Do you get fed up of drinking water on its own?  Why not add a twist?

There are many people who can't drink water simply, because they do not like the taste.  Why not add a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber or mint to give it that extra twist.


This page was first published July 2014 as part of our Healthy Living  page

It was republished independently 15/07/2019 with lots more information

Last updated 28/05/2020